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The North of Iceland is in winter an amazing playground for those who like outdoors activities in winter. Back to the genesis of the Earth, the region is one of the most active volcanic area in Iceland. Snowshoeing there is a unique chance to be in pristine locations with waterfalls, volcanoes and lava formations… Program includes among others daily hikes (medium level), contemplation, bath in hot springs. This short adventure is perfect for open, contemplative and active minds looking to take the time to discover, feel and share.
Locations to discover:
This trip takes place in the North of Iceland, partly in the fjord of Eyjafjordur, the longest fjord in Iceland and near by lake Myvatnwhere the rift is found.
Eyjafjordur means fjord of the island, because of the island of Hrisey (“the north pearl”) located right in its middle. This large fjord surrounded by mountains and hills is the perfect spot for nice starting this trip and feel the vibe of Icelandic powerful landscape.
Lake Myvatn, is located on the mid-Atlantic ridge emerging in Iceland. This ridge, or rift, spreads out and pushes away the American and European plates, at the speed of 2cm a year. This is why volcanic activity is so active in this region, changing its morphology permanently. The place is of an incredible diversity and offers some of the most beautiful and fascinating landscapes on earth. Imagination is constantly stimulated by the strange shapes of the landscape and by Trolls, Elves and other fairies living there… most likely.
Iceland in winter: main colors are white and blue, often mixed in dramatic skies.
For those who know Iceland during the summertime, with its chaos of black lava, winter is the opportunity to meet a new landscape, “uniformed” by the snow, from which only emerge the highest lava peaks and the main craters. In Myvatn, we will walk across the caldera of Krafla, the frozen lake and the lava castles of Dimmuborgir, unforgettable experiences for sure. Hikes are done walking or snowshoeing, depending on the day and snow status. The air is very pure in this time of the year and the magnificent skies often show the famous Glitský (the mother-of-pearl clouds) and the northern lights.
Frost shines on trees and makes the landscape looking like a wonderland. Most often than not, we can spot a group of ptarmigans or an arctic fox. The nights of full moon often have a stronger light than the day light because of the snow’s reflexion, and can be the opportunity for unforgettable walks.
Arrival in Iceland at Keflavik airport. Transfer by bus to the domestic airport and second flight to Akureyri. In Akureyri your guide will welcome you. Short drive to your accommodation on the coastline. Northern lights are often visible there, perfect to welcome you. There is a Jacuzzi there and you can start this trip with a hot bath under the stars.
After the breakfast, you’ll start the day discovering the region of Eyjafjordur. Your guide will show you great spots in the forest and mountain near by with view overlooking the fjord. Night in the same guesthouse.
Today we drive to Myvatn, it’s only an drive. We will get into our accommodation for the next 5 nights. Just 2 kms from our accommodation we will hike between the rocky formation of Dimmuborgir (the lava castles). During the snowshoeing hike, we will make several stops to discover lava caves and try to spot some trolls… In the afternoon we will go in the Myvatn Baths for a relaxing tome. Diner cooked at the guesthouse by the lake.
Hearty breakfast by the lake where we might be lucky enough to see some ducks enjoying the warmish waters. We will start the ascent of the crater Hverfell a 400 m rise to reach its top. From there, we will enjoy a beautiful 360° sight. Then we’ll hike to the fault of Grjotagja located on the rift. The place served on the shooting of Game of Thrones famous scene with Jon Snow.
Today we head towards the Krafla Caldera to discover this unique site, where the last eruption happened in 1984. We will snowshoe on a wonderful ground struggle between ice and fire. In the end of the day, we will enjoy another warm bath.
A visit of Myvatn is not complete without a walk in the solfataras’ fields of Hverir and a hike on the Namaskard mountain. After this unique spot of fumaroles, boiling mud puddles and sulphur deposits, we will end the afternoon by a walk in the forest of Höfdi on the shores of the lake, where we can find some of the only trees existing in Myvatn. Last night in the warm baths.
We will reach Akureyri in the morning after a 1-hour drive and a stop at the waterfall of Godafoss, the Gods’ waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfall in the country. Lunch in Akureyri before a 45’ flight to Reykjavik. Transfer to the city centre where your accommodation is located. Free afternoon and night.
Transfer to the international airport and international flight.
You’ll be accomodate in guesthouse. Program of the day will be organized by the guide depending mostly on the weather condition. Each morning starts with a healthy breakfast, lunch is a picnic often taken on site, in the superb pristine spots of our hikes. In the evening there will be option for a bath in the warm waters of Myvatn, or in the Jacuzzi of your accommodation. Diner is taken at the guesthouse where we will cook together local dishes and try Icelandic cuisine.
Hikes:The walks of 4 to 6 hours a day on average are merely a way to spend time in nature, they are thus accessible with a normal physical condition. However, the terrain can be rough and uneven with small altitude changes. The duration of a walk depends on the weather conditions of the day and on the level of the group. They can be extended, shortened or divided in two shorter walks. During the winter time the weather conditions and Iceland’s rough terrain require a specific attention towards the slippery ground. We provide spikes for hiking shoes and snowshoes, but not the walking sticks.
Indicative itinerary and safety:The day by day schedule for this snowshoeing tour travel is given indicatively and can change because of safety reasons such as bad weather conditions, volcanic activity etc… Your guide knows the terrain like the back of his/her hand and remains the only one in charge to take decisions relative to safety.
Guide:Your guide is attentive to the group and to the Icelandic nature to offer you this magical snowshoeing trip in the Icelandic nature.
Vehicle:Comfortable 4WD minibus prepared to handle Icelandic tracks. We use a minibus operated exclusively for our group.
Food:Almost vegetarian cuisine made of delicious organic products of high quality. Hearty Scandinavian breakfast, picnic for lunch with salads, cookies and warm beverages. Dinner is usually hearty and convivial using local products as much as possible: trout from the lake, leg of lamb, vegetables, potatoes, salads and delicious dairy products such as skyr with blueberries. Any allergy or strict diet must imperatively be stated clearly during the inscription.
For conviviality in the group(nothing mandatory) We recommend everyone to bring a home produce from their home land.
Participation:Members of the group are kindly asked to by taking part in the cooking and dishwashing in the accommodation.
Accommodation during your stay:Double bedroom or twin bedroom in a traditional farm on the lake’s shores and on the seashore in Eyjafjordur.
Extension of your stay:Please contact us!
You might not come back to Iceland any time soon, and if you can spare a few more days, we advise you to extend your stay a little bit, in an independent trip to discover another region or just to enjoy more of the northernmost capital city in the world. We can arrange 1 or 2 days more in Reykjavik for you to really submerge in its relaxed and original way of living, to enjoy its excellent coffee-shops and wonderful book-stores, to discover its fascinating little museums and art galleries, and to relax yourself in its swimming pools, spas and original night life.
Be careful to choose your prolongation early on, because modifying your plane ticket on site can be pricey and even sometimes impossible!
According to the season and to the weather’s instability of these northern countries, we ask you to follow this gear list, for you own safety and pleasure.
YOUR PERSONAL GEAR:
If you have a doubt on your gear, feel really free to contact us to receive some personalized advice!